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BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 27 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:0

Peanuts, Chernobyl, ethnicity, and the curse of answering machines

Pamela Ewan describes two patients who suffered respiratory arrests after inadvertently ingesting nuts to which they were allergic (p 1074). These two patients are presented in a series of 62 consecutive patients with allergies to nuts. Most (47) were allergic to peanuts, and allergic symptoms began before the age of 2 years in more than half. Dr Ewan believes that nut allergy is becoming more common, and Hugh Sampson supports this belief with data from the United States (p 1050). The condition may be becoming commoner because more children are being exposed to nuts early in life. Infants at high risk of allergy, particularly those …

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